St Helena Online

This could be great news for St Helena as OneWeb, the UK satellite company that declared bankruptcy in late March 2020, was  the company that had committed to establish a major ground station on St Helena, will very likely be acquired by a consortium led by Indian Bharti Enterprises and the UK Government following an auction held in New York yesterday: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-53279783

Particularly since the new plan is to add a GPS-like capability to some of the satellites, whose primary purpose is still the provision of global broadband Internet, it appears highly likely that OneWeb will revive its plans for a ground station on St Helena. The plans for the navigation capability come in response to both, the UK’s exclusion from the European Galileo system due to Brexit, and the increasing jamming and spoofing threats all existing satellite navigation systems are exposed to.

St Helena could play an even more major important role for this navigation capability as it will require precise timing facilities on the ground that synchronize with the satellites. Such are preferably located in safe territory like would be the case for the overseas territories. For Galileo such a ground station was established in the Falklands but had to be decommissioned because of Brexit.

The UK government website also confirms this news, that they lead a successful bid to acquire the cutting edge satellite technology company OneWeb today on their website  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-government-to-acquire-cutting-edge-satellite-network

This move signals the UK government’s ambition for the UK to be a pioneer in the research, development, manufacturing, and exploitation of novel satellite technologies through the ownership of a fleet of Low Earth orbit satellites.

Photo credit to earthstation.sh you can read more about earth station St Helena here 

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